Why didn't we go outside to enjoy the pretty cool jungle air, sights and sounds? Well, the weird thing is that the location of this place is actually on a building site, and it seems it's a work-in-process. So a lot of the natural beauty of the place has been hacked off and basically, it's just a muddy mess with nothing much to see. But the night sounds of the jungle nearby was a nice change, as sleeping in a tent with the rain hitting against the canvas, and showering with the freezing ice cold water because there was no heater provided.
The 3 things I always try to take on a holiday to make sure I have a good time 1) expect the worst 2) bring my own entertainment 3) and have lots of booze. Share with me your tips for a good holiday while we get on with what happened on my instagram ya!
1. Glenfiddich's Valley of the Deer
Was invited to check out Marini's new houseband who'll be featured every Tuesday - what a surprise for me that the launch had a Glenfiddich Tasting Session going on in conjunction with their upcoming Valley of the Deer event from 27-30 May 2015.
What's the Valley of the Deer event about? It's basically Glenfiddich hosting a tour of their re-created distillery at Carcosa Seri Negara with interactive exhibitions, complete with dram samplings at the end. They'll even bring the head cooperage over to humour us! It's the second (last year was the first, held in Bangkok) event ever, but it promises to be bigger than last year's. There are 2 ways for you to get your tickets to the event:
1. Buying tickets from http://valleyofthedeer.com OR
2. Buying Glenfiddich bottles (12,15 or 21) at participating outlets. Each bottle purchase will have a unique passcode which you need to use to redeem e-tickets from the website - make sure you check before buying!
See you there ya! If you're NOT going to be there, be prepared for me to
2. Benromach Tasting @ Torii
Ooh, this one's really interesting. As a big fan of whiskies from the Speyside region which are generally fruity sweet in taste, Benromach isn't quite like any other Speyside I'm used to. Their story is that they set out to create the ORIGINAL 1960s Speyside character where smokiness wasn't uncommon. Wait a SPEYSIDE? WITH PEAT? This kinda of blew my mind. I really enjoyed them in general. I'll go into the details in another post, but for now, know that the Hermitage was my favourite, followed by the Peat Smoke (both limited releases, sigh).
It's brought in by Single & Available, so you can expect these to be available at their outlets and retail shop. For now, check out: http://www.benromach.com/
3. Marini's New Drinks Menu
Was giving a sneak peek by the lovely folks behind the bar of their current menu before it was launched. Check this one out - Beautiful Isle - made with Jura whisky with pineapple juice, among other ingredients, topped with edible flowers and served in a CLAY DUCK. Too cute not to have - take heed it's has a touch of peat from the Jura so may not be for everyone. Try it and let me know what you think, though!
4. Finally Making a Kaku Highball
Yup. I was still on my whisky highball phase and finally got myself a Suntory Kakubin JUST to make a legitimate Kaku Highball. Not bad at all. I'm not sure if 1)I made it better this time or 2)I was thirsty or 3) it was the Kakubin, but it did taste much better than the week before when I made them. Quick recipe:
1. Pack your tall glass with ice (straight from the freezer, not the wet ones)
2. Squeeze a wedge of lemon into the drink, drop the wedge in.
3. Fill 1/4 of the glass with whisky
4. Top up with freshly opened soda water.
6. Let me know how you like it.
5. Celebrating World Whisky Day (WWD) With a Taketsuru 21 Pure Malt
I got this from a friend who helped me buy it from Japan. Kind of regret this purchase. It was overall underwhelming and a little too much to pay for. If you NEED to get a Nikka but you're not sure what to get - give one of these blended/grain ones a go:
1. Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky (tastes better and more worth the money compared to some others!)
2. Nikka From the Barrel (51.4%) - MY personal favourite. Packs a flavourful punch with every sip with a smoky finish and super bang for the buck.
I haven't had enough of their Single Malt whiskies to be able to remember which ones to recommend you to. Maybe next time. :)
6. Mizuwari (whisky + water mix)
Suddenly felt like watching the Bartender anime again (catch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPlA2yUN_Bk). The story line is actually messy and everywhere but when the bartender gets to work, explaining how and why he made his drink, its origins and history of it and then watching him actually make it is so darn magical. It's based on the manga with the same name (which is so much bette).
Anyway, I re-watched a few episodes last Friday night and the first drink he made in the 1st episode was the Mizuwari. On the rocks and neat may be how most Westerners (and the rest of the world) have their whisky, but Mizuwari is how the Japanese have their whisky. Often with meals, in place of beer or wine. It's really simple enough to make:
1) cheap whisky of your choice (by cheap I mean, stay away from your old ones and single malts)
2) fill 1/3 of an ice-packed glass with said whisky
3) Stir until condensation appears on glass
4) Top up glass with more ice and cold water
5) Stir few more times to mix the whisky with water well
7) Tell me all about it.
You will find that on the internet and through people who know everything that there is supposed to be an unnecessarily long, ceremonial process of stirring the drink X number of times and etc. Well, sure by all means do that. But I just like to keeps things simple. :)
Until next week, drink safe!